Read + Write Poetry: 23 April 2022


Read a Poem

By Cris Harris

The full moon turning from blue white to yellow

Setting as the Eastern horizon lightens and moonshadows

Dim across the snow, darkling glints of starlight on ice turning soft

As day bumps up against the horizon.

The moon gibbous in its slow fall,

The air so cold at this hinge of time, a cough wants out with each breath

And the dog skitters across the snow’s crust in widening arcs,

Sniffing for the rabbits among the trees.

The balance of light spirals,

When the moon is palled by the steam

Of the Perry, OH nuclear plant,

Lifting almost vertical in this windless hour.

I stop and I can’t look away from the West.

The air is so cold, I hear the highway in the distance, tires on asphalt a sound

Like the roar of surf on gravel beaches. I wonder; something about the planets, sun

Gravity and space a falconer luring us home, the absolute zero

Of things beyond the human moment.

Not three hundred thousand miles west, the moon in perfect

Opposition to our star is falling behind steam from heat

Of atoms coming apart, a roar of turbines too distant to detect,

The unheard hum of voltage flying out the lines, the plant a warm spider

At the center of a steel web.

My feet go numb, my watch ticks

Past time, and I cannot help but feel I am witnessing

Some design passing. I hold my position, then I go.

Split by Cris Harris, from Skylark Review Issue 1. Little Lantern Press. October 2015. Used by permission of the author.

About the Author

Cris Harris is the author of I Have Not Loved You With My Whole Heart (Oregon State University Press 2021) a memoir about growing up in a household wrestling with faith, addiction, violence and the AIDS epidemic. He teaches writing and experiential education at an independent school outside of Cleveland, and spends summers running, writing, growing tomatoes and restoring a turn of the century barn. His poems and essays have appeared recently at Post Road, Proximity Magazine, The New Engagement, New South, Rogue Agent, Cleaver, Nowhere Magazine and the Indiana Review. In 2018, he received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for nonfiction. You can read more about his work at

Write a Poem

The glabella is the space between the eyebrows, the philtrum is the groove between the nose and upper lip, and the rascette is the line on the inside of the wrist. Write a poem about one of these spaces.

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